Morse Code is just text messaging from the past

If you have kids with the super power of texting faster than lightning, why not see how fast they are with this ancient form of “texting” – Morse Code. January 11th, Write your Name in Morse Code Day, is set aside to help preserve the history of Morse Code and it’s importance to society.

Morse Code, the telegraph and “texting”

Morse Code was invented by Samuel Morse and is a series of “dots and dashes”. The dots and dashes are encoded text characters, considered the forerunner to email, text messages and other near-instant messaging used today.

Mr. Morse was not alone in his work. Two other inventors are also credited with it’s invention: Samuel F. B. Morse, Physicist Joseph Henry, and Alfred Vail, all worked together to produce the system we now call Morse Code. They held the first demonstration of it’s use with the telegraph on January 11th, the day we now celebrate as: Write Your Name in Morse Code Day.

The electric telegraph invented by David Alter in 1836 went largely unnoticed. He is however credited with inventing the telegraph. We can only assume, communication was slow and perhaps no one got the message….. (get it ha ha no one got the message.. Ok I’ll stop.)

Samuel Morse and his associates developed what is now the Morse Telegraph just a year later. At the time, the electric telegraph transmitted text messages by electric pulses. The three inventors intended for their system (Morse Code) to be much more efficient than it became at the time. In fact, in 1841 a system was developed that would have allowed Morse Code to be translated directly into letters at the receiving end, but strangely enough, that system never caught on.

Learn Your Name In Morse Code Day

Learn Your Name In Morse Code Day was created by another “Holiday Lover” Brownielocks. Brownielocks is concerned because Morse Code is no longer a requirement for the Ham Radio operators license. The possibility that Morse Code will soon become an obsolete method of communication therefore exists. Brownielocks (and Homeschool Holiday!) recognize the historical value as well as the educational importance of learning Morse Code, therefore celebrating Learn Your Name in Morse Code Day is a reason to celebrate for certain!

How to celebrate

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January 11 – write your name in Morse Code

The first text messaging system was perhaps the Telegraph! The telegraph used what we now call Morse Code to communicate “instantly” over really long distances for the first time in human history.

Before that news took days, weeks and even months to be delivered by newspapers. With the telegraph, a message could be sent across the Atlantic ocean in minutes!

Morse code is named for Samuel F. B. Morse. He was not the first to think of, or invent the telegraph, but he was the first to get political support for his idea. We celebrate him on April 24th – MORSE CODE DAY.

The International Morse Code uses the 26 English letters A – Z (it also uses some non english letters). The 10 digits 0-9 (called the Arabic numerals) and a small set of punctuation and signals needed for procedures.

When sending/receiving Morse code there are no capital letters. The letters are formed by “dots and dashes”. The dot is the basic signal and used to measure how long a signal lasts. A dash is 3 times as long as a dot. This is how the person sending (and receiving) can tell the difference. – Remember, many times – we are LOOKING at the dots and dashes when we use Morse code for activities today.

They were LISTENING! Here is a video that plays the audio for each letter of the alphabet. (I have no affiliation with this video. Please preview the video before showing to your learners I use an ad blocking extension for Chrome called Adblock. )

After each letter there is a quiet space equal to the length of a dot, then the signals for the next letter begins. At the end of the word, the space silence is equal to the length of seven dots.

The dashes and dots were designed based on frequency of use. For example, the most used letter in the English language is the letter E, it is only one dot.

So today your challenge is to write your name in Morse Code.

I found an online site that you can input text and it will play it back in Morse Code. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND doing this activity together as it is laced with ads, download buttons and other tricky areas. There were no inappropriate ads, however I would hate for a young one to click the wrong thing.

You can also use my FREE Morse Code printable and use the printed version of Morse code to write your name. These are available to all my Curriculum Club Members!

Becoming a Member is easy – you will have access to the Morse Code Freebies and MORE When you sign up below:

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For those learners who want to dive deeper into Morse Code here are some great resources on Amazon:

This book is a great way for Kids or Adults to memorize the Morse Code alphabets.It contains great illustrations and pictorial representations to help! The book includes Illustrations for Alphabets A to Z and Numbers 1 to 0. This book is written graphic-novel style and follows the amazing life of Samuel Morse, who developed a working telegraph in 1844 and changed the way people communicated. Have a learner that is REALLY into Morse code? This notebook is just the thing! It includes the Morse code, practice exercises and special paper to write your own sentences in Morse code. Makes a unique gift! This is a pair of handheld flashers so 2 people can communicate back and forth with Morse Code. Takes some practice , but fun none the less!

Finally this basic kit can be used to produce a light that flashes your Morse Code signals! Great for a basic lesson in circuits too!

I hope you enjoyed learning your name in Morse code. Come back again for another fun Homeschool Holiday to explore- because there is always something to learn!

With Love,

“Mrs. Crabtree”

Please note that I am an Amazon Affiliate and as such the links I post are affiliate links.

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